Breast milk bank’s anniversary

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Héma-Québec celebrates a decade of Public Breast Milk Bank

Grace Richards

QUEBEC – Héma-Québec, a non-profit organization that collects, tests, and distributes safe blood products to hospitals across the province, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Public Breast Milk Bank, which collects donated breast milk from eligible mothers to provide to premature infants.

Since its establishment in 2014, the Public Breast Milk Bank has been a beacon of hope for families with premature infants. “Our goal and what we do is saving lives. We can never describe the feelings of relief and hope experienced by the parents [of recipients],” said Josée Larivée, spokesperson for Héma-Québec, in an interview with CHIP FM.

Larivée explained the simple process for both donors and recipients: prospective donors are encouraged to register on the Héma-Québec website, undergo a health assessment, and contribute their surplus breast milk.

Larivée addressed common concerns of parents who are interested in the service, stressing the milk is rigorously tested, pasteurized, and distributed as needed to hospitals across the province. She emphasized the emotional benefit of donating breast milk: “The women who do it often return and say one thing quite unanimously: it makes them so happy. The chain of solidarity is precious. Without ever knowing or seeing each other, these mothers feel connected [to the mothers they support].”

Looking ahead, Larivée emphasized Héma-Québec’s commitment to efficiently meeting hospitals’ ongoing needs. While the organization isn’t trying to expand, it aims to raise awareness about the Public Breast Milk Bank and recruit more donors. “Open the door, come see us, ask us what we’re doing. You will perhaps leave with an appointment or having made a first donation. You’ll realize that giving milk gives life to babies who do not have it now. You never know if you or someone you love will need our services some day.” she concluded.

Anyone interested in donating can visit Héma-Québec’s website or call 1-888-666-4362 for more information.